Controversial Insider Provokes Unhappy NASCAR Community Over the Clash’s Venue Debacle

Published 02/04/2024, 7:42 PM EST

Follow Us

via Imago

Rain may have failed to slow down the 2024 Clash at the Coliseum, but it sure did pour down a torrent of fan discontent. The controversy surrounding the last-minute decision to move the event to Saturday night overshadowed Denny Hamlin’s fourth victory in the third and potentially final running of the no-points exhibition race.

America’s Favorite Video Today

To gain some context, the Clash was moved by NASCAR to Los Angeles in 2022 from its usual location, Daytona International Speedway. Not only did the decision go against tradition, but many people were left confused by the sudden changes to the long-standing Speedweeks schedule that used to take place before the Daytona 500, while many others embraced the decision, praising NASCAR’s flexibility in responding to an expanding worldwide market.

A demand that left fans divided as ‘The Checkered Flag’ waves on a controversial clash

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As the three-year venue contract with the USC Trojans comes to an end, the viability of the event taking place at The Coliseum in 2025 seems less likely after a constant decline in the event’s popularity locally since 2023. In addition, NASCAR had to move this year’s Clash from its initial Sunday, February 4th, date to Saturday due to the possibility of thunderstorms in California.

Many teams and fans missed the entire race due to this last-minute change, which sent the race into an early frenzy. Dropping the scheduled heats and qualifiers for a practice-speed-based starting lineup further intensified the controversy. Amidst all the post-Clash chatter on social media, Brett Griffin, host of the Dirty Mo Media Network podcast “Door Bumper Clear” and often known for his controversial remarks, stirred the pot with a bold tweet, “This race just needs to go away. Sorry.”

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Many fans took to Twitter to respond to the tweet, and a majority of them were in favor of moving the Clash back to its original Florida location. “Should be at Daytona where it has always been. EVERYTHING doesn’t need to change… They take the clash and the 4th of July weekend from such an iconic track in NASCAR’s history.” replied Twitter user @TimMcCormick2.

Another suggested, Needs to go to Rockingham.” Sentiments overflowing, ‘the clash of opinions’ continued with fans expressing a variety of suggestions. However, one reply particularly stood out. “The ‘crowd’ appears to be indicative of the fan’s interest in actually attending. This gimmick has run its course.”

Watch This Story: Denny Hamlin Triumphs In First Clash At The Coliseum, Eliciting Cheers From Fans

The drivers weigh in as NASCAR contemplates going global

On the track, however, drivers had some interesting perspectives, with P5 Kyle Larson expressing satisfaction with the audience turnout: “The crowd (was) awesome out there for a spur-of-the-moment race and free admission and all of that.” 

SHR’s Chase Briscoe, who finished eighth in The Clash, also opined in a recent article on NBC Sports, “This does not really mean anything for the rest of the year, but for our confidence and team building, I feel like it’s a really good start.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite acknowledging NASCAR’s decision to keep the rescheduled race free for all, fans remain fixated on the event’s potential future location. With the Clash secured for future TV deals, NASCAR confronts the challenge of reigniting enthusiasm and interest in the annual pre-season exhibition. Whether it returns to Daytona, explores international locales, or preserves its stadium environment, one thing is certain: the argument is far from finished, as NASCAR finds its work cut out even before the 2024 season ends.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Amman Augustin

118Articles

One take at a time

Amman Augustin is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With his coverage majorly focusing on the lavish off-track lives of drivers, Amman often brings the lesser-known side of Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick to their fans. Another aspect of NASCAR where he flourishes is covering rivalries between competitors.
Show More>

Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today